Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Robert B. Moore


The people are the theater. Nature sets the scene, and man plays his part through the challenging scenes of seed-time and harvest, in the cold days when the Frost comes and the keen windows blow. It is from the things manifested in people's life--their love, joy, hatred, malice, envy, generosity, passion, courage, and fear--that the trust playwrights weave their somber and gay patterns of action and dialogue. The above statement appears in an article by Sean O’Casey written more than 20 years after his first successful play, The Shadow of a Gunman, was produced at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. His plea for the continual presentation of “life” as the foundation for theatrical scripts could be considered a parallel to the call for an explicit investigation into real “joy” invoked by John Millington Synge in his preface to The Playboy of the Western World in 1907.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Dramatic Arts and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1973 Mary Beth Martin.

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